Since participating in Safe Shops trainings, three shops have switched from perchloroethylene (PCE)-containing brake cleaners to aqueous brake cleaners, and one has switched to aqueous parts cleaner.
These changes made by Safe Shops participants not only reduce pollution, but also may protect workers from occupational hazards that cause asthma or respiratory sensitivity.
The Safe Shops Project built capacity by developing sustainable partnerships between local government, health care centers, and nonprofit organizations to deliver environmental health services to a hard-to-reach population.
Through consistent trainings and outreach, Safe Shops has developed trusting relationships within the auto shop community.
The preliminary results showing substantial changes in a historically difficult-to-reach population demonstrate that Safe Shops is an effective model and an efficient use of limited public health resources.
Now that Safe Shops has been established and proven effective, it is receiving support through the commitment of some city resources and additional grant funding.
To encourage replication, the Safe Shops team is currently engaged in providing an unwritten 11th essential public health service--"share successful models with others"--by publishing these findings and compiling a tool kit of all the project materials and process notes that may help others replicate what Boston has done.
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to acknowledge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provided the initial three-year capacity-building grant that allowed the Safe Shops Project to form.
Corresponding Author: Tiffany Skogstrom, Safe Shops Project Coordinator, Environmental Hazards Program, Boston Public Health Commission, 1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02118.